AT&T’s New Data Plans Good for Most, but Bad for Heavy Users

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AT&T made significant changes to its data plans today, cutting the cost it requires smartphone users to pay for service, but also getting rid of the popular unlimited plan.

Previously, the carrier required customers purchasing a smartphone to sign up for a $30 a month unlimited data plan. As of today, this is no longer true. Instead customers can choose from two plans that are less expensive.

One of these costs $25 a month and provides 2 GB of data. The second gets the user 200 MB of data transfers in a month for $15.

No More Unlimited Data
AT&T’s policy goes beyond no longer requiring smartphone users to have an unlimited data plan: this plan is being phased out. Starting today, new customers can no longer sign up for an unlimited amount of data transfers. Current AT&T subscribers who already have such a plan can keep it, however.

This move has angered some of AT&T’s customers who are heavy data users. They have become accustomed to using applications that require transferring a great deal of data over the carrier’s 3G network, such as streaming music service.

AT&T responded by saying that its change will save money for 98% of its customers because they use less that 2 GB of data a month.

Apple iPhone 4 Is Now OfficialTethering, Too
Today also marks the introduction of AT&T’s first tethering plan, which allows smartphone to act as a wireless modem for other devices, such as laptops.

This is available for all devices that support tethering, which will include the iPhone when Apple releases the next system software upgrade this summer.

This service will cost $20, and must be used with AT&T’s plan that includes 2 GB of data a month. This additional cost doesn’t bring any additional data capacity.

 

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